I met Cannonball and Nat Adderley at the colonial Tavern in 1969. Mickey Handy introduced me. Cannon and Nat became good friends and i was their Toronto buddy whenever they came to Toronto, we spent many days hanging out at the underground railroad etc
I once cooked a seafood chowder dinner for them at Grossmans Tavern. Al let me use the kitchen and was the special of the day. It sold out quickly.
One night I took them to Gordon Rayner's Studio to watch an Artist's Jazzband rehearsal. they liked it but would not jam.
This was very much a "Blackpower time and they got invited to all the Black after hours clubs. But they would not go without me. I knew most of the black clubs and we had a lot of fun.
I was on their permanent guest list at the Colonial and I got to listen to great jazz and meet their fabulous sidemen like Louis Hayes,Ray Brown, Walter Booker, Bobby Timmons, Victor Feldman, Joe Zawinul.
One night I was late getting to the Colonial , they were halfway through the set and the bar was packed full. The only place for me to sit was at the staff table. They would not serve me unless I moved and there was no where else so i sat there drinkless till the set was over.They joined me at the end of the set and ordered us drinks. They still refused to serve me. So Nat called the manager over and told them they were not going to play until I was drinking. needless to say that never happened again.
After Cannonball's tragic death in 1975 Nat played Toronto regularly and he was always glad to see me. He embarrassed me on my birthday at the Montreal Bistro by dedicating almost every song to me all night long. Vincent Herring was with him. I met his wife too and spent a few nights sitting with her.
Cannonball had never heard Paul Desmond's tribute to him until I told him.
Paul Desmond won the Evergreen Review's Higgledy piggled contest with
Came on the scene with a belt of the blues.
Gives me more time
For women and booze.